Dan Bailey

X-Pert 53 Interview


Dan Bailey is a Fujifilm X-Photographer from alaska specialising in adventure and outdoor photography. 

Dan is well renowned in the world of photography let alone within the Fujifilm family and his web-famous blog is testament to this, being ranked as 1 of the top 100 on the internet. He is a photographer who loves to absorb himself into whatever he is shooting as well as enjoying the vista that he continuously finds himself standing in. His photography certainly celebrates the idyllic landscapes that grace our planet. Being an outdoor enthusiast means that he also gets to enjoy the many activities that coincide with the conditions that living in Alaska affords such as hiking, skiing and cycling. It is no surprise then, that all of these interests find a place into his vast portfolio and having clients that range from National Geographic to Patagonia demonstrates that he is as versatile in his work and passion as the XF35mm lens he employs.

I couldn't be happier to have Dan take on the X-pert 53 Interview. It is such a great honour. 

Here is Dan's X-pert 53.

1. What Genre Of Photography Do You Specialise In?

I consider myself an adventure photographer and a student of style the the late Galen Rowell pioneered. I shoot a variety of outdoor sports an activity, most of which involve mountains, like biking, hiking, skiing, climbing, etc… I also love to shoot landscapes and portraits, in a style that communicates the feeling of adventure to my viewers. 

2. Why Do You Like Using The XF35mm Lenses?

To me, the XF35mm f/2 lens perfectly epitomizes what the X Series is all about. It’s compact, lightweight, streamlined, and incredibly sharp. I’ve always loved using primes, especially in the short to middle range, and having started with the classic 50mm lens when I first started out in photography, the XF35 gives me that look and feel on the Fuji system. That said, I think I use my little Fuji 35 way more often than I ever did my old Nikon 50mm!

3. What Do You Like Photographing The Best With Your XF35mm Lens/Lenses? Why Your Choice?

I shoot pretty much anything with it! It’s a great head and shoulders portrait lens, it’s great for closeups, and I love how it isolates a reasonably small part of the scene with shallow depth of field, especially when you get close. This makes it an ideal travel lens. I even love using it for landscapes, and it’s actually one my favorite lenses for doing aerial photography. It’s often the lens I take with me if I’m going super light with just one body and one lens if I’m traveling our getting together with friends or family. I just think the XF35 f/2 is such a versatile lens. If it were my only lens, I would probably be ok.

4. Do You Shoot Professionally With The XF35mm Lenses?

Yes, being one of my favourite X Series lenses, the 35 gets used quite a lot, no matter if I’m shooting for myself or for a client. This past summer, I shot a series of bush pilot portraits for one of the air taxis up here in Alaska, and many of those shots were made with the 35 f/2. This past weekend, I shot a series of mountain aerials, and again, the 35 was one of my primary lenses. As I said, it’s super sharp and extremely versatile, so it sees have rotation in my kit.

5. Fuji XF35mm F/1.4 Or Fuji XF35 F/2? Why Your Choice?

35mm f/2 all the way

Why Your Choice?

First of all, it’s weather sealed. Secondly, it’s got a faster AF motor than the older 35 1.4. That’s a great lens, but the AF is a little slow and clunky with some of Fuji’s early X Series glass. As an action shooter, I depend on fast autofocus, and I get pretty frustrated with lenses that can’t keep up. Also, I just love the design of the newer f/2- it’s very small, and it looks like an old Leica Summicron 50mm f/2, you can tell that’s exactly what Fuji was going for with this lens. It looks totally classic on the X Series cameras. 

6. How Often Do You Reach For Your XF35mm Lens/Lenses?

Oh man, all the time! That 35 f/2 gets used a lot. When I look through my Lightroom catalog and see the image counts on all my Fuji lenses, the 35 f/2 is right here in the top 5.

7. Could You Live With Just An XF35mm Lens In Your Photography Bag?

Yes, I’d miss my wide angle, and I’d miss the telephotos, but if I had to live with just the 35 f/2, I’d manage. It really is a fun lens, so I think I’d be fine.

8. Do You Like To Use Available Light Or Studio Light With Your XF35mm Lens/Lenses?

I mostly shoot outside with natural light, but I occasionally use off camera flash. Oftentimes, if I’m using flash, I’m shooting people, and if I’m photographing people, then yes- the 35 is right there in the bag. Like I said, it’s a great portrait lens.

9. What Fuji-X Camera Body Do You Prefer To Use The XF35mm Lenses On? Why Your Choice?

My main camera is the X-T2, although I’ve also used my 35 f/2 on the X-T1 and X-T10.

Why Your Choice?

Performance. The X-T2 is the best camera in the lineup. As of right now, it’s the best mirrorless camera out there from any brand, and it’s better than many DSLRs. The other guys have some catching up to do!

10.Do You Have Any Favourite Photographs Using The XF35mm Lenses?

Sure! Here are a few photos that show the versatility of the 35 f/2 lens.

11.Finish This Line: The Fuji XF35mm Lenses Are…

…totally awesome. Instant classics. Every X Series shooter should have one!